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[ISN] Verisign Plans for Security Alert System
From: InfoSec News (isnc4i.org)
Date: Fri Nov 07 2003 - 00:55:15 CST
By Caron Carlson
November 5, 2003
WASHINGTON - In a project dubbed Electra, Verisign Inc. plans to
expand its proprietary DNS server platform—called Atlas—into a
grid-like infrastructure to support more-sophisticated traffic
analysis and pattern recognition. Electra, which will be unveiled next
year, will help support an early warning system for Internet attacks.
The Mountain View, Calif., company will combine data streams obtained
through its online payment service and its naming and directory
services to identify threat correlations, according to company
chairman and CEO Stratton Sclavos. The online payment system processes
96 million transactions a day, detecting commercial fraud such as
identity theft; and the directory services manage 10 billion
connections a day.
Put together, the systems can provide the basis for an offense
strategy for battling viruses, worms and other Internet attacks, said
Sclavos, who was in Washington Wednesday promoting the company. With
more sophisticated data analysis, Verisign will be able to offer
enterprises earlier warnings about attacks and a prioritized list of
remedial steps, he said.
Verisign has spent $100 million over the past three years upgrading
its infrastructure, according to Sclavos, who said the company is
committed to further research and development.
"We're going to spend the money regardless of whether we get paid for
it," he said.
Early analysis of data from the online payment and directory services
suggests that commercial fraud and distributed attacks generally
originate from the same IP addresses, according to Sclavos. Regions
such as Eastern Europe and Africa appear to be a common source of both
credit card rings and DDOS attacks, he said.
"It is clearly coming from the same regions," he said. "The newest set
of threats seems to be much more organized, much more massive."
As for Verisign's controversial Web site redirect service, SiteFinder,
which it was forced to shut down last month following worldwide
complaints, Sclavos expects to re-launch it next year. In the
meantime, he said, modifications will be made to the service,
including added language support and an improved method of handling
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